Public Release: 

New GSA book on 2011 Virginia earthquake goes online first

Geological Society of America


IMAGE: This is a map showing the epicenters of earthquakes in eastern North America having moment magnitude (Mw) 5.8 and greater. view more

Credit: J.W. Horton et al., GSA Special Paper 509

Boulder, CO, USA - "Online First" is a new method of delivery for The Geological Society of America that provides online publication ahead of print for book chapters as the volume is being assembled. One of the first books to make this jump is The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America, online at This volume takes a detailed look at the 2011 magnitude ~5.8 earthquake centered in Mineral, Virginia, USA.

The earthquake was the largest to occur in the Appalachian region in more than 100 years. It was felt over much of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, caused significant damage from central Virginia to the National Capital Region, and was responsible for the automatic safe shutdown of a nuclear power station. It invigorated interest in earthquake processes, hazards, and preparedness along the Eastern Seaboard, and responses of the science and engineering communities to this rare event serve as models for responding to future events.

Soon to be a collection of 23 chapters (12 chapters are online now), this GSA volume brings together important new seismologic, engineering, geologic, hydrologic, and geophysical data that contribute to the understanding of earthquakes in eastern North America and contribute toward better assessment and mitigation of seismic hazards. Online First makes these results available as quickly as possible to geoscientists, engineers, and decision makers interested in understanding earthquakes and seismic hazards in eastern North America and other intraplate settings.

Volume editors J. Wright Horton Jr. of the U.S. Geological Survey and Martin C. Chapman and Russell A. Green of Virginia Tech head up a team of authors from a variety of organizations -- several more from Virginia Tech and the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as geoscientists from the Virginia Dept. of Mines, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and North Carolina State University, to name a few.

Chapters currently online are as follows:

  • The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake, and its significance for seismic hazards in eastern North America -- Overview and synthesis, by J. Wright Horton, Jr., Martin C. Chapman, and Russell A. Green, doi: 10.1130/2015.2509(01);
  • Magnitude, recurrence interval, and near-source ground-motion modeling of the Mineral, Virginia, earthquake of 23 August 2011, by Martin C. Chapman, doi: 10.1130/2015.2509(02);
  • Ground-motion site effects from multimethod shear-wave velocity characterization at 16 seismograph stations deployed for aftershocks of the August 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake, by William J. Stephenson, Jack K. Odum, Daniel E. McNamara, Robert A. Williams, and Stephen J. Angster, doi: 10.1130/2015.2509(03);
  • Site response in the eastern United States: A comparison of Vs30 measurements with estimates from horizontal:vertical spectral ratios, by Daniel E. McNamara, William J. Stephenson, Jack K. Odum, Robert A. Williams, and Lind Gee, doi:10.1130/2015.2509(04);
  • Regional seismic-wave propagation from the M5.8 23 August 2011, Mineral, Virginia, earthquake, by Fred F. Pollitz and Walter D. Mooney, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(06);
  • Widespread groundwater-level offsets caused by the Mw 5.8 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake of 23 August 2011, by Evelyn A. Roeloffs, David L. Nelms, and Rodney A. Sheets, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(07);
  • Finite element simulation of an intraplate earthquake setting--Implications for the Virginia earthquake of 23 August 2011, by John K. Costain, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(08);
  • Geotechnical aspects in the epicentral region of the 2011 Mw 5.8 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake, by Russell A. Green, Samuel Lasley, Mark W. Carter, Jeffrey W. Munsey, Brett W. Maurer, and Martitia P. Tuttle, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(09);
  • Residential property damage in the epicentral area of the Mineral, Virginia, earthquake of 23 August 2011, by Matthew J. Heller and Aina M. Carter, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(10);
  • Overview of performance of the North Anna nuclear power station during the 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake and continued seismic evaluations, by Yong Li, Gerry L. Stirewalt, and Kamal A. Manoly, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(11);
  • The 2011 Virginia Mw 5.8 earthquake: Insights from seismic reflection imaging into the influence of older structures on eastern U.S. seismicity, by Thomas L. Pratt, J. Wright Horton, Jr., David B. Spears, Amy K. Gilmer, and Daniel E. McNamara, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(16); and
  • Relict Paleozoic faults in the epicentral area of the 23 August 2011 central Virginia earthquake: Assessing the relationship between preexisting strain and modern seismicity, by K. Stephen Hughes, James P. Hibbard, and DelWayne R. Bohnenstiehl, doi: 10.1130/2014.2509(19).


Individual chapters may be purchased through The Geological Society of America online store at or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

The final volume is expected to be available in hard copy sometime in January 2015. Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America
J. Wright Horton Jr., Martin C. Chapman, and Russell A. Green (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 509
ISBN 978-0-8137-2509-3

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